I love all things Harry Potter. What can I say, I’m pretty much obsessed. When my third grade reading group requested to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I jumped on the chance. I have so many ideas to go along with the book: writing our own spells, creating magic wands, making butterbeer, making golden snitches…my list goes on and on. I wanted to have a though-provoking discussion to go along with our reading, so we aren’t just making crafts, but really delving deep into the book and having rich discussions each day. I simply googled “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone discussion questions” and stumbled upon Scholastic’s Harry Potter Reading Club. The discussion questions outlined in this packet will go along wonderfully with our book.
1. Why does Dumbledore decide to have Harry grow up with the Dursleys rather than with one of the wizard families? How does Harry’s experience with his relatives build his character?
2. Why does it take so long for Harry’s wand to choose him when he visits Diagon Alley? What is special about his wand? Why does Ollivander say, “The wand chooses the wizard”?
3. When Harry first meets Malfoy, he reminds him of Dudley. How are these two alike? How are they different?
4. Why do Harry and Ron dislike Hermione in the beginning? How does their friendship with her grow? What qualities and strengths does each of them bring to their adventures?
5. Why does Dumbledore give Harry the Cloak of Invisibility? Why is the Cloak so important to Harry?
6. Discuss the importance of the Mirror of Erised and the meaning of its name. Dumbledore tells Harry: “It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts…However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth.” What does he mean by this? What would you see if you looked in the mirror?
7. Why do you think Harry and Professor Snape dislike each other so much?
8. Professor Quirrell tells Harry: “There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” Discuss whether you agree or disagree with this statement. How do you see this idea at work in our own world?
9. Dumbledore tells Harry to “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” What does he mean by that? Why is it important to name a thing that you fear?
10. What explanation does Dumbledore give Harry for the protection he received during Voldemort’s attack when he was a baby? What does he mean when he says: “…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved you is gone, will give us some protection forever”? How does this protection keep Harry safe even in the most difficult circumstances?
11. While finding their way to the Sorcerer’s Stone, what strengths do Harry, Ron, and Hermione each contribute to solving the puzzles? Were you surprised when Quirrell turned out to be the one who was after the Sorcerer’s Stone? Was there anything in the plot that led you to suspect him?
12. J.K. Rowling has great fun creating names of people, places, and spells in this story. How does a name give us clues to a character’s personality? The following are just a few suggestions of names to explore.
- Severus Snape
- Professor Quirrell
- Argus Filch
- Professor Sprout
- Draco Malfoy
- Minerva McGonagall
- Albus Dumbledore
All of you teacher Harry Potter Fans out there, I hope you take a look!